Ondo Guber Race : Am Not Scared of Ayedatiwa or Any Aspirant…Oyedele

…says he is the most qualified for the APC ticket

…Pushes for consensus

An All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant for the November 16 gubernatorial election in Ondo State, Engineer Ifedayo Oyedele has declared that he is not scared of the presence of the Governor of the State, Mr Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa or any other aspirant in the race for the party’s ticket.

The APC primary to elect the governorship candidate of the party for the governorship election in November this year has been slated for April 20.

Among those in the race for the APC ticket are Governor Ayedatiwa, Barrister Olusola Oke, Barrister Duerimini Isaac Kekemeke Senator Jimoh Ibrahim, Oyedele, and many others.

However, Oyedele, an Engineer by profession, made it clear that he is the most qualified for the APC governorship ticket in terms of experience, achievement, and contributions to the party, and as such he is not scared of anybody.

The governorship aspirant, who has lots of experience from both the public and private sectors, equally made a case for the adoption of the consensus option in the choice of the governorship flag bearer of the ruling party.

He expressed firm optimism that with the adoption of a consensus option for the exercise, there will be less rancor and acrimony at the end of the exercise.

According to Engr Oyedele, ”

There is a Yoruba song that says, “gbogbo igi lo n be nigbo, ka to fi iroko joba” (there were different types of trees in the bush before the iroko tree was made king). In the animal kingdom, the lion is the leader. Have you ever seen where the lion threatened by even the size of the elephant? No, I am not threatened by them.

“When you look at my achievements when you look at my pedigree, when you look at my experience and where I have worked, you will ask yourself, where have all of these people worked before? What experience do they have?

“What is their vision? Their vision is to become the governor. Though some of them are experienced, when you do a comparative analysis, the difference is very clear and enough.

“So, how can I be threatened by them?

“It is not just by happenstance that I was awarded Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers; Fellow of the Society of Nigerian Electrical Engineers, Fellow of the Society of Power Engineering, and Fellow of the Academy of the Engineering.

“For you to be a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering, there are criteria; you must have written papers, and attained a certain level academically. You look at people who are in that genre, and then you will know that it is not a party. So I am not threatened by anyone”, he maintained.

Engr Oyedele disclosed that if he secures the governorship ticket of APC and wins the November governorship election in Ondo State, the priorities of his administration will be in the areas of security and safety of the people, education, attracting investment opportunities, infrastructural development and effective communication system among others.

His words, “So it is the primary duty of a governor to ensure the safety and wellbeing of his people and that’s why I am contesting. I can ensure that in the first six months.

“Ondo state can have three-digit communication facilities.

“I can also encourage the citizens to believe in the security apparatus so that they become part of the security architecture of the state. That will not take me a hundred days to do”, he said confidently.

On experience and competence, Oyedele said that Ondo state is in dire need of a leader who can annex the human resources of the state. He said he is the man for the plum job.

“In 2023, I was the leading aspirant of the governorship seat in Ondo state. But after the intervention of the party hierarchy in the state, I decided to step down for the then APC governor in Ondo state, now late Odunayo Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, my brother and my friend of many years. I have to step down for him at the APC primary in 2020.

“So here I am today as a leading contender ahead of the September poll

“Ondo state needs a leader, a leader who can annex the various resources that we have. What do I mean by resources, mineral resources? No, I am talking about Human Resources.

“That’s the greatest resource any person, organization, or team or committee should have, human resources. We need to put forward our best team. We need to put forward our best candidate.

“I looked at the crops of what we have, and when we talk about quality, we need to talk about comportment and character.

“Am I competent? I went to the best school in the land from when the local authority primary schools were the best in the land. I went to seven primary schools, starting from Okitipupa, to Ikoya, Ode-Aye to Akotogbo. I know the terrain of Ondo State. I went to schools in Oyo; Ebenezer African Church Primary School was the leading primary school in the whole of the Western Region at the time.

”Fortunately, I was admitted to the Government College Ibadan, which in my time in 1971, was rated one of the best secondary schools in the world. From there, I work progressively to go to Polytechnic Ibadan. From my A-Level to another prelim, then to Nigeria’s foremost University of first choice, the University of Lagos, where today, I am the President worldwide of the UNILAG Alumni Association. He stressed.

Highlighting his manifestoes, and plans for the 100 days in office if he wins, Oyedele continues:

“I want to talk about education. Today, is Ondo state still the number one? We need to restore Ondo State to its number one status in Education, by ensuring that our primary schools produce children who can earn scholarships and compete with anybody, anywhere in the world.

“We need to make sure that secondary schools can produce meaningful students, and how can we do it in the circumstances that we are in. Go to Our Secondary Schools, is a PTA that employs teachers to work in our secondary schools, and they pay them ten to fifteen thousand naira.

“So the question is, Mr Governor, how are you going to fund the vision of teachers in all these secondary schools? How will it be possible to recall those retired teachers who are not tired, including those young men who have finished their NYSC but are jobless?

“How can I give them something of at least fifty thousand naira or something commensurate to work in their locality?

“I can assure you that I can have what to call shared facilities in a hundred days. For example, if you are in Okitipupa, within the proximity of Methodist High School, Stella Maris College, and Ofedepe Comprehensive High School, there are three secondary schools within the same vicinity.

“All of them are about 200 meters apart. I am going to establish a standard Chemistry laboratory in one school, a Biology laboratory in another, and a Physics laboratory in another, and ask students, especially the final year students to go around and share these facilities.
” So within a hundred days, every child will have access to a computer lab, every child will have access to standard Physics laboratory.”

“When we talk about Security, within one 100 days, I can design a robust close circuit security system that will be attractive and willing to work with the established federal structure, even before we achieve State Police by making sure they have facilities. The Director of State Department in Ondo State, how many vehicles do they have?

“Am going to buy brand new Toyota vehicles for them in 100 days? No! But in 100 hundred days, I can repair all their broken vehicles and make them available to them. I can ensure that the Police and their men are mobile and can do their work. I can ensure that every Policeman in a strategic location can be properly kitted even with a bulletproof vest. That is not rocket science to make sure that security men are mobile.

“If we can collaborate with them, to show them that we have good intentions, these people are willing to do their job; but if you go to them and they don’t have the vehicle and other facilities to react, how would they help you?
“And I said to you every security personnel will have the confidence to work for us, this is because we are going to make sure they have booths that are going to be locally made in Ikare, Okitipupa, and Idoani, etc.

“I have trained people to produce shoes such as military shoes, police shoes, safety booths in Ondo state, etc. They are available if we give them money and say we need 100, they will produce it. You need to see some of my shoes they produced in Nigeria; they are as good as the foreign ones. My boy produces Gucci, and trained people in Ondo state because he was trained abroad.

“Some of the area boys you see on the street, I have trained them in Ondo state, even as a private citizen. When you are sure of a man who can get a bulletproof vest, and other safety kits, including protection of the lives of the security personnel, this includes in six months, if you can produce three-bedroom accommodations for them and their families, and ensure they have a better insurance facilities for their protection. So it is the primary duty of a governor to ensure the safety and well-being of his people and that’s why I am contesting.

“I can ensure that in the first six months, Ondo state can have three-digit communication facilities. I can also encourage the citizens to believe in the security apparatus so that they become part of the security architecture of the state. That will not take me a hundred days to do. This is because I know that even as you are sitting down here, I know that you understand how I have made this vision to be and would be ready to identify with it, so it will not be difficult for me to understand the citizens of Ondo state to understand where we are going and to also be part of this vision that we are putting in place.

“So this is our strategy, and it is not rocket science. I am not going to lie. Those who know me know that I am a man of unquestionable integrity. So I am not going to say that in 100 days, we are going to build dual-carriage away across the state, but I can assure you that in one hundred days, we will sign a contract to secure the state. I am not one of those who will say, give me ten percent of the share before you can come and build the seaport in Ondo state.

“No, I am not going to be that type of a governor because God has blessed me to a point where I am not going to add one single extra house, except I complete the one I am building in the village so that I can live among my people. I am not going to be the governor who will live in the US, UK, China, etc, I am beyond all that. You will see a governor whose children are not bleached. I have a family that everyone will be proud of.

“So none of the other candidates can do what I can do in the power sector. In nine months, Ondo state will be the first state to achieve a 24/7 power supply in Nigeria. You will wonder, how? I have Omotoso there. I have a 130kva station in Akure, owned by two states that are almost completed. I will clear the minor issue causing the delay. I will work hand in hand with TCN and the people of my state.

“The environmental cleanup will be my priority within my first 100 days, and you will go to bed with your two eyes closed in Ondo state. I have a plan to ensure industrialization of Ondo state, by reawakening the MSME system in the state.

“Let me also tell you one of the mechanisms that I am going to put in place. Producing products that will be exportable within six months, I have tested this and it is working. You will encourage younger ones to produce little things such as vegetables, and flowers for export.

“So, I am not one of those people who are not prepared. In the year 2015, I prepared my vision for Ondo State. In 2020, I revised it to ensure the date is cleared. In the year 2023, I assembled the best private citizens to update it. I am best prepared compared to any of the candidates. None of them is as well prepared as I am.” He concluded

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has assured all 16 aspirants that the primary election will be free, fair, and transparent.

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